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  #21  
Unread 11-02-2019, 03:33 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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Thanks, Mary and Siham, for stopping by.

I've just posted a revision. The changes are to the image of the bark the girl has carved into, in S3, plus changing back to "shadows" for planets in S4, and changing "prostrate" to "bow." You're both right that "shadow" is much better, and Mary, I took your point about "prostrate" being a register of diction too high for the context. "Bow" is simpler and more direct.

The biggest change is to the first line of the last stanza. For me, the new S6L1 is stronger and more precise in meaning, even if that meaning is paradoxical. The last line of the poem is not going to change (I'm glad you like it, Siham). I do think it's the best for where the poem winds up.

If anyone has a chance, I'd love to hear how the revisions resonate for people.
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  #22  
Unread 11-02-2019, 07:20 AM
Siham Karami Siham Karami is offline
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The first line of the final stanza is a fantastic revision imo. However I didn’t like the “promptly incorporate.” It feels out of place and although the idea of incorporate is good, the whole line sounds like tax advice. Actually to me, and my opinion is not necessarily the news, but the line in your second version “gnarl and blog from sight” I thought was excellent. Better than either of the other two. I’ll take “bow” although I didn’t see what’s wrong with “prostrate” since it has links to the idea of “lamp”, but that’s a middle eastern POV. Plus the rhythm is better with it. Again imho. You should have the last word.

Siham
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  #23  
Unread 11-02-2019, 10:38 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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Thanks for the thumbs up on the new first line of the last stanza, Siham!

I’m of two minds about “prostrate” vs. “bow” in the line before that. I like the repeating -st sounds with the former, as well as the sense of it. “Bow” was an attempt to meet a few readers who were iffy about that line halfway, and I read “toward”as more distinctly two syllables, with “bow” there instead of “prostrate.”

For the line in the stanza about the girl, I wonder if you’d like “now incorporate” more than “promptly”? I just like the image of the names and hates/loves becoming part of the tree, so the girl and the tree have that deep connection, more than their just being effaced.

Anyone feel like weighing in on “incorporate” in stanza 3 and “bow” vs. “prostrate” in S6L1?
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  #24  
Unread 11-02-2019, 01:16 PM
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Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
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Hi Andrew, I'm glad you reverted to "shadows."

Another thing that bothers me about "for things in their lives are the eye of the lamp" is the meter. It's like the beginning of a new poem in that jaunty anapestic meter.

I like this best: "the bark will blemish out of sight" because, once she reaches a certain age, a girl will always be conscious of blemishes.

It feels awkward for me to make "toward" two syllables in "as star fields bow toward the west." Surely there's two-syllable trochee verb that would work there? "Linger" comes to mind for instance - not that I'm recommending it.

Also, "incorporate" isn't a good move at all.
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  #25  
Unread 11-03-2019, 07:44 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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Thanks for the feedback, Mary. I've reverted to "blemish out of sight" in S3L4 for now, though I still want to come up with a good phrase that also sounds good, to communicate the sense of the bark incorporating the carvings rather than simply covering them over.

Also back to "prostrates" in the penultimate stanza. Siham gave me the courage to go Quranic there.

For "for things in their lives are the eye of the lamp," at the end, I hear it differently. The poem has liberally sprinkled in anapests all along, with a couple lines not far above that one with 3 anapests. So the 4 anapests in the last line, for me, are a summation of sorts. Plus, it feels good in my mouth at that juncture, always a good thing.
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  #26  
Unread 11-04-2019, 08:41 PM
A. Sterling A. Sterling is offline
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Hi Andrew,

I like this, especially the final line.

The only part that really gave me pause was the “aspects the planets cast” line, which is now gone. And, looking at the new first line of the final stanza, neither that version nor the previous one strikes me as quite in-focus, as exactly the right way of putting what I think it’s getting at. I think the line could benefit from further tinkering.

I also think the poem would benefit if, in S5, you have nobody using the doors anymore rather than specifically the dead not using them. We wonder why nobody is using them, and then we get to the beautiful ‘departed spirits’ line in the next stanza, which suggests the answer. It would foreshadow what the whole poem is doing in miniature, with the repeated ‘it’s not’ and then, finally, ‘it is’.
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  #27  
Unread 11-05-2019, 03:17 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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Thanks, Anka. I'll consider the first line of the last stanza some more. You might be right that it needs more focusing.

For the line in S5, I actually mean the dead not using the lanes and doors, while living people still are, so the change you suggest wouldn't work.

I've made one last change for this thread, the final line of S3, about the birch bark and the girl, which I think I've finally nailed.

But we can let this one slide its merry way down the page now.

Thanks, all.
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